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The following schedule is subject to change (as of October 11, 2016). Please check back for updates. For more information about this meeting, go to: www.seafwa.org/conferences/2016
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Tuesday, October 18 • 8:20am - 8:40am
Education/Outreach. Being Bear Wise in Florida

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AUTHORS: Sarah Barrett, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

ABSTRACT: The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) aims to prevent human-bear conflicts in an effort to protect people and bears across the 15 states of the Southeastern U.S. The term Bear Wise was adopted by SEAFWA for use by its membership to represent communities implementing practices that reduce or eliminate human-bear conflicts. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) passed a statewide resolution in 2015 highlighting the importance of securing bear attractants in urban and rural areas and began implementing a Bear Wise program. As a state agency in the spotlight concerning bear management, FWC is poised to make great strides with the Bear Wise initiative.

While more than 19 communities throughout North America have successfully reduced human-bear conflicts by adopting Bear Wise practices, such as by-laws or ordinances, Florida has at least five locations that have done the same. These examples outlining the effectiveness of following the Bear Wise model include: Hurlburt Air Field in Okaloosa County that reduced their human-bear conflicts by 70%, Wingfield North in Seminole County, which experienced a significant drop in human-bear conflicts within a few months of implementation, and the communities of St. Teresa and Alligator Point in Franklin County and Ave Maria in Collier County that are observing reductions in their conflicts with bears and other wildlife since implementing Bear Wise practices.

Tuesday October 18, 2016 8:20am - 8:40am

Attendees (6)